The Night Strangler (TV Movie 1973)

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The Night Strangler: Directed by Dan Curtis. With Darren McGavin, Jo Ann Pflug, Simon Oakland, Scott Brady. A reporter hunts down a 144-year old alchemist who is killing women for their blood.

“The Night Strangler is the follow up to the successful 1972 TV movie u0026#39;The Night Stalkeru0026#39;. Aside from featuring similar titles, the films also share similar plot lines, and it could be said that this is something of a remake of the first film with a slightly more in depth story. I wonu0026#39;t profess to be a big fan of the first film in the series, although I found it to be a more than decent TV movie and I did enjoy it. This film isnu0026#39;t a big improvement over the first one, although I would say itu0026#39;s an improvement; with a longer running time and a more well thought-out plot, this one delves into itu0026#39;s subject matter more and feels more like a proper movie than a made for TV movie. Darren McGavin once again plays Kolchak; a maverick reporter who this time finds himself in Seattle after being ran out of Las Vegas (probably for annoying everyone with his constant persistence!). Coincidence strikes and pretty soon heu0026#39;s on the trail of yet another vampire! He discovers that every 21 years for over a hundred years, a group of people have been killed within a small time period and thinks the murders are connected.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe thing that stands out most about this film is most definitely the central performance from Darren McGavin. His portrayal of the stubborn reporter is great to watch and always ensures that the film is entertaining. A lot of the film consists of our unlikely hero trying to convince the relevant authorities that his suspicions are fact and them disbelieving them. These scenes are fairly clichéd, although they are fun to watch; and again itu0026#39;s mostly because of McGavinu0026#39;s excellent impersonation of the central character. Since the film is really about the detective on the trail of the vampire, thereu0026#39;s not a great deal of actual bloodshed or bloodsucking in the film, although that isnu0026#39;t much of a hindrance because as a thriller it works very well and director Dan Curtis does manage to create several moments of suspense that kick the action up a level. Itu0026#39;s always obvious where itu0026#39;s all going, and the ending doesnu0026#39;t come as a surprise; but itu0026#39;s a fun time getting there. This film and the first one were pilots for a TV series and obviously they did the trick because Kolchak was solving more mysteries in his own TV series a year after this film was released.”

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